Gobble, gobble, gobble for a good cause

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SHINNSTON, W.Va. – The 11th annual Shinnston Turkey Trot won’t just prepare you before you indulge in Thanksgiving dinner. It also gives you the opportunity to give back to the community.

Jack and Stacia Talkington began the Turkey Trot not knowing what to expect. What started with 50 participants, has grown into more than 1,000 runners.

“Thanksgiving Day is one of the most popular race days in the country for a 5K. I don’t know if people want to get moving before they indulge in their holiday dinner or they just want to give back to their community before the holiday season.”

Stacia Talkington, Race Director

The Turkey Trot is a great way to have fun with your family before Thanksgiving to get yourself moving and give back to charity.

There will be a canned food drive during the race. Stacia said they were approached by a woman from Bridgeport who is doing a used shoe drive to send shoes back to Venezuela, which is the woman’s home country.

The woman ran a 10K in Venezuela and noticed how most of the runner’s shoes were in poor condition. They will have an area set up during the race where you can donate your gently used running shoes.

Jack and Stacia had the idea of making the Turkey Trot in honor of Jack’s cousin, Marie, who had passed away when she was a senior at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The scholarship in her honor was established in 2008 with the Harrison County 4-H. At that time, they only had family donating to the scholarship to send one child to 4-H camp, which was around $250.

They decided to use the Turkey Trot as the main source of fundraising to the Marie Gaston Scholarship Fund. Now they’re able to help more children who have financial struggles. The funding is also used to improve camp by providing meals, activities and bring in speakers.

Marie Gaston’s earliest activities were 4-H, where she started at age 8 in the Peora-Wyatt Mountaineers 4-H Club. She also attended Lincoln High School in Shinnston, WV.

“Marie was an avid 4-H’er and I remember her as a kid who was an amazing young lady that you would want your daughter to be like just bubbly personality. She was involved in every aspect of her community,” said Stacia.

Despite the fact that this was a hard time for Jack’s family and to the community who lost Marie, this fundraiser is a way to honor her by giving back to the kids and organization.

Online registration has closed, however, early race packet pickup and pre-registration available on November 26 from 5-8 pm at Jimmy’s Diner in Shinnston.

For more information, details about the course, and race info, you can go to the Turkey Trot website.

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